Number '263'. This had been showing up on my GPS for ages. It was a 'waypoint' I had entered in my old crude 'Etrex' back in 2001. I had obviously neglected to give it a name, and now every time I drove towards Lichfield it would pop up on my screen. I'd forgotten what it was. I couldn't get to it by road, I could only circle it, never getting less than 1/4 of a mile from it. I got out of the car at a high point and scoped the horizon with the aid of the zoom on my camcorder. A familiar outline. I'd seen this before. It was a nuclear 'observer' bunker. That bench was fooling no one!
Nearly a decade ago I lived for a short while part time on a protest camp, campaigning against the new toll motorway or the 'BNRR' as it was known. I feel I must point out that I am not anti-road and most definitely not anti-car, but I am totally opposed to tolls (it was a grand day that the 'turnpike trust' was abolished!). This road was just a money spinner by 'fat cats', it duplicated another motorway route and in the process cut through woods, unreplaceable countryside, greenbelt land, split up farms making them unviable and destroyed peoples homes bought up by compulsory purchase orders! Anyway, I digress...The reason I mention this is at that time protesters would occupy any woods or buildings along the proposed route. This bunker fell on this route and was broken into and inhabited for a short while.
This is what annoys me....It was reported in the local paper, national papers and on TV that this bunker would be destroyed during the construction of the M6 Toll. The official impact report issued by the department for the environment confirmed this as fact. Later reports declared this bunker as demolished. I've checked the maps, they didn't change the plans, this wasn't a mistake...they lied!...Don't lie to me!.....
You can see from this hastily sketched plan that the surface details match. Well, apart from the stonking big orange mushroom of flame!
These observer bunkers are a cold war legacy. Designed for two men, (I don't know what that third man is doing in there, they're not going to repopulated a nuclear devastated earth like that!) the observer corps would monitor the position and effect of any nuclear attack. It wasn't a long term survival bunker, it would only facilitate a fortnight underground, (they obviously got paid by the week!)